Now I get it, not everyone is tech savvy, or may not be aware of all the numerous scams out there in cyber world, but unless we’re living in igloos or on top a mountain in nowheresville, there are plenty of warnings on the news and from government agencies and banking institutions, alerting the public to some of the current scams, and offering protocol on what to do if we find ourselves victims of a scam.
Two prevalent scams going on here in Canada, and I’d have to guess other places in the world, are the ever-growing bank scams and the Canada Revenue Agency scams, particularly geared toward seniors. So let’s get into these cyber scams a bit more deeply.
Some of you may have been on the receiving end of receiving an email, or better, a text message, informing that your account has been compromised, or, your account has been frozen due to some suspicious activity, and many more similar headlines . The headlines are unnerving and send alarm bells to us, propelling us to dive into action to want to protect our assets immediately, and that’s exactly the intentions of these cyber bullies. This frightening feeling these bullies instill in us is what can lead us to do stupid things with our spontaneous nature to react.
First of all, NO BANK will ever email or text us asking you to sign into your account directly from an email or a text, asking to click on a provided link. NO BANK will EVER ask us for our password or pin number, or anything else of its ilk. If there is a real problem, the bank will notify by phone call, or letter, or perhaps an email directing us to go to our account and log in to obtain a private message they’ve sent. NEVER sign in to any financial or government accounts through an email or text. ALWAYS log in through direct website of corresponding accounts.
Banks make this info forthright in all their correspondence, informing the public that they will never ask of such requests as divulging pin numbers, passwords, etc. This is not only for our protection but for the bank’s as well, as in many incidents they become responsible for losses which they have to absorb themselves.
IT HAPPENED TO ME TOO. The first time I got one of those texts, supposedly from my bank, it was frightening. I didn’t attempt to open the text. I first thought it odd that the bank was texting me, considering they never even had my cell number. And to validate my suspicion, I called my bank and sure enough they verified the scam. People need to stop and evaluate before hastily complying with these fraudulent crimes.
Canada Revenue Agency
There has been a huge scam running for a few years now that is so widespread the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) have gotten involved to find these cyber criminals trying to rob seniors of their life savings and pension cheques, read about it here. They will send emails again, with links to verify personal information, requesting government issued identification to access links. They will also send emails stating that there is a ‘bonus’ cheque waiting to be obtained after tax calculations have been made and found that they are owing excess funds that weren’t paid. There are all sorts of variations of attention grabbing headlines in their messages to pique interest. And as we all know, money talks, and hearing that we’re receiving some is alluring.
Seniors are often most vulnerable and cyber criminals know this. The Canadian government is working very diligently to find these cyber criminals, and requests that anyone receiving these unlawful emails and requests, to please report them to CRA where they can use these notifications for more information to find these bullies and arrest them. Here’s a notice from CRA:
Fraud, Phishing Scams and Canada Revenue Agency…
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning Canadians to be careful of emails, voice mails, even mail claiming to be from the CRA. These are phishing scams that could result in identity thefts. Email scams may also contain embedded malware, or malicious software, that can harm your computer and put your personal information at risk of compromise. The CRA does not email Canadians and request personal information. Here is a most recent article from CRA:
June 21, 2016
The following email scam is hitting Inboxes now. This scam is a twist on the agressive Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Tax Owing scam that have been targeting Canadians.
The scam email looks very realistic. It is unclear if this email scams is designed to collect personal banking information or to install viruses on your computer. Regardless, immediately delete any such email you receive from your Inbox and Trash.
The email scam claims that CRA has an e-transfer tax return to send to you and looks like this: READ MORE
Read another full article below on phishing scams posted by CRA:
Here are just a few links listing some of the many scams currently circulating:
What Can We Do?
- Be diligent and suspicious when receiving any correspondence informing or requesting to check our accounts
- Don’t be ‘trigger happy’ and automatically follow links
- Do some research. Google search scams related to the issue in question
- Call your local branch or financial institution to question the authenticity of the request
By researching suspicious requests you are not only helping yourself, but others by informing the institutions of such scams so they can put out more alerts.
Help fight cyber crime and save yourself the grief in the process.
Below, find a great list of scams published by Cristina Chipurici, content marketer for Heimdal security blog:
Top Online Scams Used by Cyber Criminals
“Cyber criminals affected the online businesses and individuals since the internet networks first appeared and spread all over the world.
Internet services and websites make it easy for us to pay bills, shop, make online reservations and even work. And you can do any of these actions from any place in the world. Old boundaries and human limitations were dropped, in order for us to have access to almost any information. Our lives became so much easier.
But the same thing is true for CRIME.
Our freedom to navigate and access a wide number of online locations represents in the same time a main vulnerability, because an open door always allows access in both directions.
Criminal minds can reach these days further than before, into our private lives, our homes and work offices. And there is little we can do about it. . .” CONTINUE READING